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Hypnosis A Possible Treatment For Hot Flashes In Men

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By Sarah Thomas | July 17, 2014 11:35 AM EST

Researchers at Baylor University conducted a study on the effects of hypnosis on men with hot flashes. The study sought to look towards hypnosis as a possible treatment for the problem.  Since hypnotic relaxation therapy was a successful means of treating women suffering hot flashes the researchers tried to find out if the same treatment would work for men as well.  

Reuters
REFILE - CORRECTING PHASE OF LUNAR CYCLE A man is reflected in a car window as he looks at the moon one day ahead of the Supermoon phenomenon from a bridge over 42nd St. in the Manhattan borough of New York July 11, 2014. Occurring when a full moon or new moon coincides with the closest approach the moon makes to the Earth, the Supermoon results in a larger-than-usual appearance of the lunar disk.

This method is beneficial for men and will have many men turning towards it for help because the other treatments involve doses of synthetic oestrogen or acupuncture and the results have been reported as mediocre. Many men are reluctant to take on this sort of a treatment, hypnotic therapy on the other hand is a natural, easy and more inviting method for these reluctant men.

Gary Elkins, Ph.D., director of Baylor's Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory and a professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences and study author explains, "Men are more reluctant to report hot flashes, and it's not as prevalent. There are fewer ways to deal with it, "If a guy has hot flashes, you can't say, 'Well, why don't we put you on oestrogen?' But it's a pressing problem"

The causes of hot flashes in men, which is not as much as seen in women is due to androgen deprivation therapy used to treat problems such as prostate cancer or in rarer cases, the naturally declining testosterone levels. In men testosterone levels don't reduce with age as oestrogen does in women and so they are unlikely to experience hot flashes.

Since there is a reluctance among men to acknowledge the problem and it is rare as well, Elkin's study concentrated only on one man although it supports a 2012 study he did involving 187 women who suffered hot flashes as a result of either menopause or breast cancer treatment.

The first study involved women with hot flashes to undergo a five- week hypnosis treatment by clinically trained therapists. Skin monitors were used to track the occurrence of hot flashes by means of temperature readings, they kept diaries and were instructed to individualise their therapy as much as possible. They saw a 75 percent drop in the occurrence of hot flashes.

In Elkins's recent study on men, his subject who goes by "Mr. W.," saw results a 95 percent drop in his hot flashes which was more than that seen in the 2012 study. This improvement could be attributed to the increased sessions as Mr. W's therapy sessions totaled seven weeks, rather than the five of the first study.

Mr. W. had reportedly been suffering from severe hot flashes that accounted to nearly 160 per week when the treatment began. After the treatment he said that his sleep quality improved and he said the experience during the treatment was pleasurable and empowering, indicating that this hypnotic relaxation theory was enjoyable unlike the pharmaceutical treatments.

The problem however is with the other aspects of hypnosis. It is well known that not everybody can be hypnotised and researchers are debating on the effectiveness of a treatment that would be limited to a small number of individuals. Supporters of the therapy, like Elkins on the other hand say this pertains only to a small number of people.

Elkins study was published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experemental Hypnosis.Researchers at Baylor University conducted a study on the effects of hypnosis on men with hot flashes. The study sought to look towards hypnosis as a possible treatment for the problem.  Since hypnotic relaxation therapy was a successful means of treating women suffering hot flashes the researchers tried to find out if the same treatment would work for men as well.

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(Photo: Reuters / Carlo Allegri)
REFILE - CORRECTING PHASE OF LUNAR CYCLE A man is reflected in a car window as he looks at the moon one day ahead of the Supermoon phenomenon from a bridge over 42nd St. in the Manhattan borough of New York July 11, 2014. Occurring when a full moon or new moon coincides with the closest approach the moon makes to the Earth, the Supermoon results in a larger-than-usual appearance of the lunar disk.
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